Grandma’s Plant

She’s never looked better.

This peace lily plant is more than 20 years old. She was a plant at my grandmother’s funeral.  Every time I look at her, she reminds me of that feisty lady I loved. But over the years, in my #FengShui story, this plant has gotten moved around a lot, as I have tried to find the right place, the right light, the right everything.  Then trying to remember to keep her watered.

Luckily, she’s super resilient.  Whenever I notice the leaves drooping, I give her a quick drink and she pops right back up the next day.  Much like my grandma.


Plants are amazing enhancements in Feng Shui.  A plant can bring in the wood element, trusting and progressive.  Representing growth.

In the five elements, Wood can fuel a fire – which is awesome when you want to produce more fire or fame in your life.

Wood can absorb an abundance of water.  You will often hear that plants shouldn’t be placed in a bathroom.  I forget the reason (and that’s ok, I am not going to beat myself up over it).  But seems to me, that when you have an abundance of water – like in a bathroom – wood might be a good idea.

To me, this gal represents family.  Which now that I think about it, her current placement is bordering between the Health + Family and Wealth + Prosperity guas.  Hmmmmmmm….I like it.

Is this her permanent place?  Probably not.  In fact, when I placed her here a few weeks ago – relatives and friends were coming for the holidays and she was in kind of an awkward place in the living room and I didn’t want her bumped.  I truly expected the hubs to say “what the heck are you doing…it can’t sit there.”  I was ready for a big discussion – I had it all planned out – you know how you get yourself armed for a discussion while practicing it in the car.  Yeah, I did that.  (now laughing at myself)

To my husband’s credit, he hasn’t said a word.

And like I said above…she’s never looked better.

  • She’s in a location where we see her every day. In fact, she’s almost in the way.  (again, like my grandma)
  • She’s getting regular talking to and hydration; because, well we see her prominently every day as this is a busy room.
  • The Bagua:  Health + Family and Wealth + Prosperity guas.  Yeah, that’s gotta be good right?
  • She’s finally getting what she needs.  Even with all the windows in our house, I need windows – I get claustrophobic – this is the first window that really feels like she fits.
  • In a bathroom. I know – some of you don’t like them in the bathroom, but as I mentioned above, I’m ok with it and so it’s good Feng Shui for me.  Everyone, and I mean everyone needs to do Feng Shui their wayNot my way, not your client’s way, or even your neighbor’s way.  The brilliance of Feng Shui – means it’s individual – special – unique – for everyone.

And yes, I have said before there are some universal rules like putting the toilet seat down – that’s a big one and I can’t for the life of me understand why the in-laws don’t do this.  There are also universal ways to read a compass and such.

But for me, the uniqueness of Feng Shui is what I love the most.  With billions of people on the planet – something that works for all of us, needs some flexibility and grace!  Sidenote, it’s also one of the reasons I love the IFSG so much…we have SO MUCH diversity among our consultants…all perspectives, all welcome, all celebrated because we ALL HAVE A VOICE AND PLACE.]


So, here are my takeaways….

  • A plant can be great Feng Shui. Wood, growth, and all that jazz.
  • If you don’t like plants, then DON’T. ADD. THEM.
  • Try to get plants that you can care for. They need light and water and time that you have available.  So, don’t get something labor intensive if you just don’t have it in you.  We are all in a different place.
  • Put plants where you want them. There is probably a rule about where you “shouldn’t” put a plant, but I can’t remember if there is, and even so…well, I hate shoulds.
  • If someone gives you a plant, and you don’t like that person or a memory or a story associated with that person, then by all means – pass it on. [This goes for anything in your house…let it go.]  Ok, so I guess that’s a should.
  • Grandma’s up in heaven saying something to the effect of “took her long enough to figure it out,” and she’s chilling with her dogs, and maybe having a smoke.

Mary Leone

Deb Dermyer Lamb is a wife, mother, feng shui practitioner, and still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up.  She’s been the office administrator for the IFSG since 2007 and loves, loves, loves that part of her life.  IFSG members are everything to her.  She’s also the current IFSG CEO, since 2017, and previously served on the Board of Directors from 2006 through 2011.

Give her a shout if you have questions about the IFSG, or want to share your messes.

The Best Kind of Chi with House Plants

Using the art and science of Feng Shui Placement, we can do a lot to enhance our homes, our lives.  Using furnishings made from non-toxic, natural materials, along with a balance of the 5 Elements (Fire, Metal, Water, Wood and Earth), we surround ourselves with some of the ingredients which create pleasing, healthy and harmonious spaces. Find out how indoor plants can bring an important benefit to your chi – the best kind of chi or essential chi to your life!  From Alisa Rose Seidlitz

Alisa Rose Seidlitz, plants

An essential ingredient in making your home a beautiful, soul nourishing and physically healthy place, which supports and enhances your overall well-being (the very definition of good Feng Shui!), the addition of indoor plants is quick and easy!

  • Plants are our elders here on planet Earth.  Humans evolved outdoors surrounded by plants, and we thrive when they accompany us inside. A space without plants can feel dull and flat, while their presence lifts our spirits.  Plus, plants carry the best kind of chi because they are alive! Being alive, houseplants bring the energy of Nature to us directly. As a part of Nature ourselves, we resonant with them, and their living chi enlivens our own.
  • They give us the precious gift of oxygen as they absorb the CO2 which we breathe out. Many houseplants purify air by also absorbing various chemicals such formaldehyde and benzene, commonly found in many home furnishings, paper and cleaning products, books and more.
  • Because we evolved surrounded by green plants, their color has a calmly energizing and uplifting effect.  Houseplants come in lots of shades of green, along with other color variations such as burgandy, too.
  • Tall houseplants and those with large, wide or thick leaves, or with long, narrow leaves, bring in the energy of dynamic Yang Wood Element. Those with small, rounded or feathery leaves bring the soft and gentle energy of Yin Wood.
  • Super hardy, most need little care. A bit of water, some light, and our loving gaze, go a long way.

A few easy-care houseplants, all able to thrive with low light and little water, which also clean the air are Peace Lily, Ficus, Jade Plant, Spider Plant, Boston Fern, Rubber Plant and Heart-Leaf Philodendron.

Alisa Rose Seidlitz, plants

We practice the art of Feng Shui in order to feel our best. Including houseplants is essential because they help us feel at home!


 Alisa Rose SeidlitzAlisa Rose Seidlitz is a longtime Ecological Garden Designer, Certified Green Building Professional, GreenAP for Interiors, Graceful Lifestyles Certified Interior Re-Designer, Flower Essence and Reiki Practitioner.

4 Reasons Your Office Needs Plants

The notion of buildings that speak helps us to place
at the very center of our architectural conundrums
the question of the values we want to live by—
rather than merely of how we want things to look.

Find out how plants and Feng Shui can bring about greater health, happiness, and productivity in your office – by Carole Hyder

I love this quote by Alan deBotton from his book “The Architecture of Happiness.” It speaks to the primary Feng Shui premise about a space having influence on our purpose. A much-used translation of this statement is: Your space reflects your life. Although the philosophy of Feng Shui is centuries old, it is still in its infancy here in the west. Those of us who have studied this Asian philosophy know that, indeed, what you have in your space can help or hinder you on a daily basis.

Despite its enormous influence in your life, the beauty of Feng Shui is that often it doesn’t take much to make a huge difference. Sometimes, just the shift of a desk or a new paint color or the removal of some clutter, helps you move forward with clarity and efficiency. Your office (or cubicle) provides a great opportunity to symbolically remind you of your values, your goals, and/or your ideal path. The symbol must be relevant to you—in other words, you must truly connect and like what you’re using as a placeholder for your vision and guidance.


4 Reasons Your Office Needs Plants, Carole Hyder

One of the simplest suggestions I make to my clients as we are analyzing their office is to add a plant. This can be a silk plant if keeping one alive will be a challenge due to lack of light or lack of time. A plant is very symbolic on many levels for a career and having one in your office can be a steady reminder of reaching your goals. If you already have a plant(s) in your office, then you can overlay it with any of the Feng Shui intentions listed below.

  1. Using a plant that grows upward and outward can reflect to you the possibility of career advancement if you are looking for that to happen. A plant represents forward movement and action so make sure your plant has room to expand.
  2. A plant on your desk will always remind you of nature, whether that is a conscious or unconscious reminder. Connecting to nature automatically lowers blood pressure. Check out the work by Dr. Roger Ulrich, a professor at Texas A & M who did research in the 1990’s and into 2003 who determined that being around a plant, even looking at a photo of a plant, can lower blood pressure and increase positive feelings. It will be important to keep your plant alive and healthy obviously.
  3. If you’re feeling stuck and uninspired, a plant can be a symbol for taking action. A flowering plant will provide even more inspiration and creativity. Flowers can be a perfect substitute for this intention since they are colorful and vibrant, although not as long-lasting as a real plant.
  4. Finally, for health reasons alone, place a plant near your computer to provide balance from all the EMFs that you are exposed to during the day. The electronic energy you are exposed to can be offset by the natural energy of your special plant.Your responsibility is to keep your plant alive and healthy no matter what intention it’s holding for you. Even a silk one needs a regular dusting off from time to time. Let yourself be inspired and motivated as you watch your plant grow and expand and reach for the sky—–a wonderful mirror for whatever your intentions are. 

Carole HyderCarole Hyder has been a Feng Shui consultant since 1992, having studied with Professor Thomas Lin Yun and Roger Green. She is the owner and director of the Wind and Water School of Feng Shui and Feng Shui Institute of the Midwest. Read more about Carole.


Article/Photo Source: 4 Reasons Your Office Needs Plants

Landscape Design and Feng Shui

In most Western Gardens, attention is paid to the forms shapes and materials but nothing is given to the concepts that move our gardens from beautiful spaces to places that help us contemplate our connection to the earth and the spirit that imbibes us. It is this lifting of the significance of the garden that enchants us when we see what the Chinese and Japanese have created in their gardens. These gardens are not constructed to recreate nature but to capture the essence of nature in forms, shapes and materials for the purpose of lifting the human spirit. Read more from landscape design and feng shui expert, Shelley Sparks

Landscape and Feng Shui, Shelley SparksWe don’t have to clone these genera to create gardens that are meaningful. We can create beautiful, restorative, healthy spaces using designs, plants and materials that are in concert with our houses, land and aesthetic sensibilities. What can be learned from these gardens and is of great importance in a Feng Shui garden is to design using natural shapes, including the five senses and introducing elements such as water features found in the natural environments.

There are many layers in the design process. There is the layer of designing a garden that is beautiful and does not violate any Feng Shui principles. There is the level where natural elements, shapes and the senses are included in the landscape design. Then there is the garden that reaches for much more by including plants, rocks and other elements that hold an innate or cultural significance to give the composition a richer intent. In many cultures, plants are revered for their healing powers. Deeper meanings are attached to their existence in a garden. Using plants that have meaning helps to lift the spirit every time one sees that plant. For instance, in Chinese culture, the pine is associated with longevity. Every time this tree is encountered in the garden, the owner is reminded of the potential for that aspect in their life and the energy that provides that life force.

The study of Feng Shui is a lifelong endeavor under which nuances are discovered and learned constantly. A landscape architect who wishes to use Feng Shui principles can begin with the dictum “Do No Harm.”

Here are a few of the principles that can be followed to insure good energy flow in the garden:

  • Design the front walkway using curves to soften the entry. Nature abhors a straight line and a straight line path to the front door from the street is a jarring force for the occupants of the house.
  • Entrances should convey an open, spacious, grand feeling. The entry should truly welcome the occupant. Narrow constricted paths feel limiting and can adversely affect a person’s fortunes.
  • Healthy plants especially trees are a sign of good energy on a property. Plants need to be cared for and well maintained. It is important that trees and large shrubs do not block the front entry or walkway.
  • Trees should be selected and located to be in scale with the house. Large trees located close to the house will overwhelm and overshadow its occupants.

Landscape Design and Feng Shui, Shelley Sparks


Shelley SparksShelley Sparks is a Feng Shui expert, licensed Landscape Architect and passionate gardener. Read more about Shelley.



 Article/Images Source: Landscape Design and Feng Shui

The Importance of Live Plants in Feng Shui

The Importance of Live Plants, Maureen CalamiaOne of the most common recommendations to improve feng shui is the addition of plants. Why is that? Find out more from Maureen Calamia.

Very simply, plants represent wealth and abundance in feng shui. As a metaphor, they symbolize health and growth, both very important to good feng shui. Fresh, lively, and abundant plants are probably the best thing you can do to enhance your prospects in life.

According to Eastern philosophy, trees and plants are considered the Wood Element, one of the 5 Natural Elements which include Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. The energy of Wood is uprising, initiating, and growth. It is early yang energy that facilitates the budding of spring and new beginnings in all of life.

So what is behind the significance of plants in feng shui?

We evolved over millions of years within the natural environment. We subconsciously seek places with healthy, abundant plants which not only indicate an abundant food source, but an abundant supply of fresh water. We are hard-wired to desire such an environment and associate it with health, and therefore, wealth. So, when we are in environments with healthy plants we feel better and more alive. It’s no wonder that healthcare facilities have made great efforts to increase the proliferation of plants over the last couple of decades.

Air quality
Indoor environments are 2-5 times more polluted than most outdoor spaces, because of the toxicity of materials and products used within the home, plus the lack of fresh air flow. Plants add moisture to the air, which increases negative ions (which, ironically, are good for you!) and eat toxins. Some plants are more efficient than others, but all plants do help improve the air we breathe.

Have you read or seen “The Celestine Prophecy?” It is true that plants have a consciousness that responds to its environment. Although a different type of consciousness, healthy plants contribute to the positive energy in our spaces. Similar to “forest bathing” (a Japanese term for being refreshed during a walk in the woods), plants in our indoor environments refresh our energy. For more information read The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Live and Let Live by Dr. Jim Conroy and Basia Alexander.

Since the 1970’s there have been tons of studies that show how plants improve our focus and attention, productivity, enhance health outcomes, reduce violence and absenteeism. Plants improve the environment in homes, offices, urban spaces, healthcare facilities, schools and even prisons.

“I don’t have a green thumb”
I hear that from many people. They kill any plant that they get. If this is you, my recommendation is to get a few plants that are easy maintenance (don’t buy a bonsai!) and make the intention to water it every few days. Use cuttings from your yard or buy a weekly bouquet of flowers. Just bring some positive, fresh, lively energy into your life on a daily basis!


maureenkcalamia_RRMaureen Calamia is founder of the Re-Nature Feng Shui™ philosophy based on the fact that we need to restore nature back into our lives. Maureen brings her passion for Feng Shui to the greater community as an educator and long time past IFSG board member. Read more about Maureen.


Article/Image Source: The Importance of Live Plants in Feng Shui

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